Vladimir Putin is an astute observer of Western leadership and especially American presidents.
He did not invade Ukraine during the four years Donald Trump occupied the White House. The Kremlin dictator knew that such an aggressive move would never be tolerated. He feared trifling with Trump whom he perceived as a strong-willed leader.
Instead, Putin bid his time, waiting for a change in the Oval Office.
It is no coincidence that Russia’s ruthless tyrant escalated his military buildup along Ukraine’s borders shortly after President Joe Biden bungled the US withdrawal in Kabul. It was the biggest foreign policy blunder in modern memory and an American humiliation.
Putin took the measure of the man and concluded correctly that he is feeble and weak. Russia could invade Ukraine without the kind of serious consequences that Biden’s predecessor would have unleashed.
From the outset of his presidency, Biden initiated one feckless move after another. Instead of standing up to the Russians, Biden did the opposite. He emboldened Putin by dropping Trump’s bipartisan sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline which was then promptly completed.
In so doing, Biden enhanced Putin’s power and leverage over Western nations in Europe that have become increasingly dependent on Russia for their energy needs. Biden helped Putin while harming the U.S. energy sector. You are forgiven for wondering, “Who’s side is Joe on?”
With the wave of a pen, Biden shutdown our own Keystone XL pipeline with Canada, heaped onerous regulations on our energy industry, and cancelled new oil and gas leases on federal land. In the course of one short year, our president transformed America from energy independence and a net exporter of oil to a nation that is now energy dependent and beholden on foreign sources.
Prices at the pumps skyrocketed as Americans had to dig deeper into their pockets to fill up their tanks. Higher gas prices also dramatically increased transportation costs for nearly all products throughout our nation. That expense tripled and was promptly passed on to U.S. consumers.
Inflated prices hit them hard in their wallets just as they were struggling to recover from the devastating effects of the misbegotten pandemic restrictions. All the while, Biden helped make Russia stronger.
How did any of it make sense? By Biden’s twisted logic, it was perfectly permissible for Russia to have a pipeline but not the U.S. Biden cited global warming as his reason for cancelling our pipeline. It would have a negative environmental impact, he claimed.
If that’s true, why give the green light to the Russians for their pipeline? You could spend all day trying to figure that one out. But it’s worse than that.
We are now emitting much more carbon dioxide into the environment without a pipeline than with it. An exhaustive environmental study determined that, yes…the Keystone pipeline would emit some amount of carbon into the air, but it would be far less than conventional transportation of oil —millions of metric tons less.
How so? Because Keystone XL was designed to operate entirely on renewable energy. So, without the pipeline we are now forced to utilize trucks and trains to transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil per day. This spews enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere by burning expensive diesel.
Killing the Keystone did not kill America’s demand for energy. It must be transported with or without the pipeline.
Again, it’s totally irrational. But Biden’s environmentalist partners who obstreperously opposed our pipeline are not smart enough to realize that they have undermined their own agenda and managed to exacerbate greenhouse gas pollution. That’s one helluva accomplishment.
This is what happens when the debate over climate change solutions is fueled by politics instead of facts, science and technology.
Given Putin’s lawless actions against a sovereign nation, Biden has now suddenly reversed course and reimposed Trump’s sanctions on Russia’s pipeline. But for the people of Ukraine, it is too late.
And for Americans it’s too late. The White House is warning that the invasion will drive up energy prices even further here at home by destabilizing global markets. The cascading effect on other domestic economic conditions will be dire and painful.
If Americans are furious, their anger should be directed not just at Vladimir Putin, but another man who is responsible —Joe Biden.